In a recent article published in Prospect magazine and reported on by a number of news services, including Sky News in a piece titled “Leaving EU ‘Could Boost National Security’”, Sir Richard Dearlove the ex-head of the UK’s national security service, MI6 was reports as saying that Brexit could boost national security.
Sir Dearlove wrote:
“Brexit would bring two potentially important security gains: the ability to dump the European Convention on Human Rights - remember the difficulty of extraditing the extremist Abu Hamza of the Finsbury Park Mosque - and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the European Union.”
So let’s break that statement down, it consisted of two gains:
- Dump the European Convention on Human Rights
- Greater control over immigration from the European Union
Dumping The European Convention on Human Rights
The European Convention on Human Rights is a really very important document. It is a key part of what the EU stands for, and it guarantees some pretty fundamental things, including:
- Right to life
- Right to a fair trial
- Prevents torture
- Prevents slavery
- Provides rights to liberty and security for individuals
Some of these principles trace their linage back to the Magna Carta. Yeah – let’s dump that. It’s much easier to have national security if we can imprison people without a trial, and while they are there torture them. Dam pesky not being able to do that.
Greater control over immigration from the European Union
This would increase national security, but limiting movement of people anywhere usually does. By the same metric we could have prevented the London bombings by putting in place a passport control just north of London, or placing security at the gates of every tube station, It would have worked, but it makes life pretty horrid.
When I read the Sky article I didn’t read better national security, I read a security chief saying his job would be easier if he didn’t have to follow the law. The law is there to protect us all, removing it is a dangerous step. A stronger United Kingdom will not come about by reducing the rights of each of the citizens. Besides, what is the point in having strong national security if that security reduces the real freedoms that each of us take for granted.
The Sky article instead of being titled “Leaving EU ‘Could Boost National Security’”, could have been titled “Brexit - Leaving EU: UK citizens to be tortured and imprisoned without trial”.